WIRELESS LANS AT UM
The current wireless LAN environment at UM is compliant with the 802.11b/g standard. This standard allows for data transmission between workstations and wireless access points at 11Mbps (802.11b) or 54Mbps (802.11g). In areas where 802.11g access points are installed, the speed of data transmission automatically adjusts to allow compatibility between the associated client workstations. When signal strength diminishes due to distance between the workstation and access point, speeds of 5.5MB, 2MB and 1MB are also supported. The access points connect to the UM network via 10/100MB Ethernet with the building’s switch. In those areas where the network has not yet been upgraded to switch technology, the building’s infrastructure must be upgraded before wireless access points can be installed.
HOW TO OBTAIN A WIRELESS INSTALLATION
If a department/area is interested adding wireless network connectivity, Technology Services must be contacted to request an estimate for wireless installation costs. Technology Services will then perform a site survey to determine the number and placement of wireless access points, antenna types, etc. so as to provide an accurate cost estimate and provide optimum performance for the area. Technology Services will need to know the exact areas that are desired to be covered as well as the estimated number of simultaneous users within each area. Building construction may have an impact on the installation costs, and can only be accurately estimated after the site survey.
STANDARD FOR WIRELESS INSTALLATIONS
Technology Services has developed a set of standards for the deployment of Wireless LANs on the UM campus. These standards will continue to evolve as wireless LAN products evolve. These standards are intended to:
All wireless LAN installations on the UM campus must be coordinated by Technology Services. The following standards must be adhered to for all IEEE 802.11b/g compliant wireless LAN installations. Any access points detected on campus that are not University-owned and coordinated by Technology Services will be deemed “rogue” and disconnected from the University’s network immediately.
At this point in time, access points must be Cisco Aironet 1100 Series or HP Procurve 420 Series (or above) access points with the appropriate accessories for providing power.
All new wireless cards must support 128 bit encryption and open authentication, with the recommended card being the Cisco Aironet 350 Series Client Adapter (supports only 802.11b) or the Linksys, a Division of Cisco System, Wireless-G adapter (support 802.11b/g). Technology Services has tested 128 bit cards from Apple, DLink, Orinoco (Lucent) and Dell True Mobile and found that they function properly with the Cisco access points.
All wireless users will obtain their IP address dynamically. Technology Services requires that the access points be set to pass DHCP requests to the central UM DHCP servers. To connect to a wireless access point and obtain an IP address via DHCP, the user’s MAC address may need to be registered in the NetReg database.
Wireless encryption provides "Wire Equivalent Protection" (WEP) for transmitted data. All wireless transmissions will be encrypted using 128 bit or 40/64 bit encryption (64 bit encryption is the same as 40 bit).
4. ACCESS POINT PASSWORD
The access point read/write password must be changed from the factory default on all access points. Technology Services will assign and maintain passwords. In certain cases, departmental/area personnel may be granted read privileges to access point log information. This will be granted after review of a written request for this access submitted by the individual’s department head/chair. This request can be submitted via email to the Network Administrator.
5. CHANNEL ASSIGNMENTS
The 802.11b specification provides 11 channels, but these overlap, so at most three channels can be used in the same space. On the UM campus, channels 1, 6, and 11 will be used and will be assigned to access points by Technology Services. Channels other than 1, 6, and 11 should not be used at the University, as they might interfere with compliant infrastructure.
Given the nature of wireless technology and the fact that 802.11b/g operates in the 2.4Ghz spectrum, interference with the wireless network can occur by devices operating within the same radio frequency. For that reason, the use of 2.4Ghz wireless phones are prohibited on the UM campus.
All access points' SSIDs will be configured such that mobile users can configure their cards to access all UM access points. Technology Services will supply a user with the SSID needed for their area and this information must be kept confidential. All non-University owned computers and network devices will use the SSID “UMNET."
Note: Beginning with the Fall 2010 semester, wireless connectivity in the residence halls is provided by College Cable. Students who have connectivity issues in their residence hall rooms should contact College Cable's Help Desk at (888) 467-9004.
The wireless connectivity map was updated in September 2009 to provide an improved guide to wireless signal strength across the Montevallo campus.
(Note: in order to view this map, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed on your computer. Adobe Acrobat is available for no charge download here at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.)
Please contact the Technology Services Help Desk at (205) 665-6520 or via email at email@example.com with any questions.
Updated August 2010